INTELDROP 23 Feb 2016 [ISIS]

 

 

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Middle East Correspondent – Erin Manth

US Airstrike on ISIS Site in Libya Kills 49

20 February 2016

CNN (LIBYA) – An American airstrike in northwest Libya on 19 February killed 49 and injured six.  The strike targeted a house that ISIS members were renting and using as a training site.  Reports claim that more than 60 people were inside at the time of the airstrike. It is unknown whether Noureddine Chouchane, a senior ISIS operative from Tunisia, died in the strike. There are conflicting reports about whether the strike also killed two hostages from the Serbian Embassy in Libya. Source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/20/africa/libya-us-airstrike-isis/ (Reliability: Moderate)

ISIS Reach on Twitter Decreasing

22 February 2016

Business Insider (NEW YORK) – A study from the George Washington University Program on Extremism shows that efforts to minimize the reach of ISIS on Twitter are likely effective. The report found a decrease in the number of, average tweets per day from, and followers of pro-ISIS accounts. While the report found 2500 English-language, pro-ISIS users, social media platforms have increased efforts to suspend pro-ISIS accounts. However, ISIS social media posters often recreate accounts under different usernames.  It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to find ISIS content if they are not seeking it, signifying that the responsibility of making first contact is shifting from the recruiter to the recruit. Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/isis-recruiting-twitter-2016-2 (Reliability: Moderate)

ISIS Reducing Fighters and Cutting Back on Pay

22 February 2016

Reuters (LONDON) – The US-led Coalition estimates a reduction in the number and salary of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria. Until recently, ISIS paid its average local fighter about USD 400 per month.  Foreign fighters earn roughly USD 600 to USD 800 per month. However, recent evidence suggests that ISIS halved the salary of local fighters and reduced that of foreign recruits slightly. It is getting difficult for ISIS to sustain its method of replenishing its forces at the same rate that coalition forces kill them. ISIS has seen a slowing influx in foreign fighters and is therefore turning to forced conscription and the recruitment of child soldiers to fill its ranks. Since its peak, ISIS has lost 40% of the territory it once controlled in Iraq, and 10% of what it had in Syria. In Syria, Russian air strikes, which target 90% moderate Syrian opposition fighters in lieu of ISIS, complicate coalition efforts. Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-usa-idUSKCN0VV1NR (Reliability: High)

ISIS Attacks Syrian Government Supply Route 

22 February 2016

Reuters (BEIRUT) – On 22 February, ISIS fighters attacked the Syrian government’s main supply route from Damascus to Aleppo. This attack comes one day after ISIS set off car bombs in Damascus, killing 120, and Homs, killing 64. ISIS has claimed control on several villages along a crucial road that connects government-held Aleppo with southern cities. The Syrian military confirmed the attack but claimed it failed and that ISIS suffered great losses. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that Syrian government forces have reclaimed only one of four positions seized by ISIS on this road. The Syrian government has been making gains against ISIS in the east of Aleppo, while conducting operations against ISIS in the north and south as well. Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-fighting-idUSKCN0VV1SS (Reliability: High)

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